History of Ames, Iowa

Ames is a city in Story County, about 30 miles north of Des Moines. Its primary claim to fame is the campus of Iowa State University. ISU was founded in 1858 and received its first students in 1869.

At the time that ISU purchased the first land for its campus, no town existed. Ames was first settled in 1854 and incorporated in 1870.

Museums at Iowa State University include Brunnier Art Museum and the Farm House Museum. The Ames Historical Society was organized in 1980, initially in order to save Hoggatt School, the first schoolhouse in Ames, built in 1862 before Ames itself existed. The City of Ames took ownership of HallettÂ’s Quarry on January 8, 2002, and is turning it into Ada Hayden Heritage Park.

The Mary Greeley Memorial Hospital was opened in 1916 as a gift from Wallace Greeley, a former mayor of Ames and its wealthiest citizen. The hospital is now known as Mary Greeley Medical Center.


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